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Sunday, December 16, 2007


South to North

Odds and Ends

After residing for 13 years in the heart of Silicon Valley I'll soon pull up stakes and head for San Mateo, 25 miles to the north.

Such decisions are not easy to make and I went through the usual pros and cons. But whether I made the right decision will only become known after the move. Right now I feel positive. The area is scenic; quiet; and the hilly terrain will be challenging when I go out for runs. Temperature there is a few degrees cooler than in the South Bay; foggy mornings are frequent.

When I was thinking about the forthcoming move, the title of a book -- To the North -- that I read years ago came to my mind. Believe it was by Robert Graves and the locale was France. However, I am not sure that I got the title right because a search through the Internet drew a blank. The book could, of course, be out of print but still there would be a record of it. It does not appear among the author's works. Strange. I e-mailed a bookstore in Cambridge, UK, that deals with publications old and new, especially by British writers.

That brings me to a vexing issue. The search engines are absolutely amazing when you think of the information that they make available . A few strokes of the keyboard are all that is needed. But the results provide much more than what one is looking for. For instance, "To the North" on google did not bring up the book by Robert Graves (perhaps it does not exist....my memory played me false) but displayed hundreds of items with the word "north" in them. The search brought up "To the North" by Elizabeth Bowen but did not stop there -- listed below are just a few of the items that google threw up at me:

Bird to the North
Musings on public space from a Project for Public Spaces staff member.
northbird.blogspot.com/ - 45k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Welcome to the North Pole!
NorthPole.net recent announcements · Santa's Christmas Greeting · Mrs. Claus' Message · Rudolph's Message · Glitter the Elf's Update ...
northpole.net/ - 5k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Welcome to The-North-Pole
Email Santa, Christmas Carols, Christmas, christmas recepies, christmas around the world.
www.the-north-pole.com/ - 16k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Santa Claus and Christmas at the Northpole
Enjoy Christmas with Santa Claus at the North pole, an award-winning Christmas web site. Send a letter to Santa Clause or a Christmas card to a friend.
www.northpole.com/ - 12k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

The Overture to the North Koreans - New York Times
The Overture to the North Koreans. E-Mail · Print; Save. Article Tools Sponsored By. Published: December 14, 2007. To the Editor:. Skip to next paragraph ...
www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/opinion/l14korea.html - Similar pages - Note this

North American Union to Replace the USA? - HUMAN EVENTS
President Bush intends to abrogate US sovereignty to the North American Union, a new economic and political entity which the President is quietly forming, ...
www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=14965 - 41k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Hucksters, Christmas, and the North Koreans! Give me a break. Perhaps Lorem Ipsum Books of Cambridge,UK, would come up with what I was looking for. Or I'll have to forget about "To the North" by Robert Graves.


I wonder if the book you mean is Graves's WATCH THE NORTH WIND RISE (1949. published in the UK as SEVEN DAYS IN NEW CRETE). To quote from Amazon, it tells of a poet who imagines the world a thousand years from now. Clocks, money and machinery have disappeared. Magicians are important and so are rituals, handicrafts and love. Everyone worships a Mother Goddess. And as in the Middle Ages, life is local and personal. Villages war against each other in dramatic fashion - but only on Tuesdays, and no one gets hurt. Graves's future world, as explored by a young poet from our time, has history, reality and stunning inner logic.

"WATCH THE NORTH WIND RISE is a book so rich in style and plot, so profoundly mythic and at the same time so lightly comic, that there is simply no way to communicate its full flavor." - Washington Post.

Thank you, Notarius

But no, "Watch the North Wind Rise" was not the the book I read. "To the North" was fiction but almost like a memoir of the author's stay in a certain part of France. After my research I'm not even sure if I have the title right. Did I dream it up?
Memory plays strange tricks, especially when gets to my age.
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